2013-03-01 16:15:13 - Recently published research from Business Monitor International, "Greece Food & Drink Report Q2 2013", is now available at Fast Market Research
We continue to hold a pessimistic view of the Greek food and drink and mass grocery retail markets. Even discounting, which owing to its focus on competitive pricing offers far greater insulation from periods of economic weakness relative to the wider market - is forecast to suffer from weak growth during our forecast period to 2017, such is the severity of demand destruction within the Greek economy. Despite some potential signs that the pace of economic contraction in Greece could finally start to ease, the depression is far from coming to an end, with our forecasts thus still pointing at largely downside risks.
Full Report Details at
Headline Industry Data (local currency)
* 2013 per capita food consumption =
-2.51%; forecast to 2017 = +0.62%.
* 2013 alcoholic drink value sales = -3.56%; forecast to 2017 = +0.57%.
* 2013 soft drink value sales = -4.95%; forecast to 2017 = -0.63%.
* 2013 mass grocery retail sales = -0.66%; forecast to 2017 = +1.35%.
Key Company Trends
Retail Sales Continue to Suffer: According to recent reports by ekathimerini, quoting data from the National Confederation of Greek Commerce, Christmas 2012 season retail sales fell by between 21% and 30% year-on-year (y-o-y), depending on the sector and retail outlet location. Despite the additional Sunday opening of stores on December 30 2012, some outlets suffered a dramatic 60% y-o-y reduction in sales, indicating the severity of economic problems in Greece, which was compounded by poor weather.
December 2012 spending on food and gifts was expected to fall to EUR7.6bn, from EUR9.25bn in the same month of 2011 and from EUR21.9bn in December 2008, prior to the commencement of the financial crisis. For the whole of 2012, retail spending was expected to fall under EUR50bn, down by over 20% y-o-y.
Lidl Investing in Greece: In late 2012, Lidl Hellas, the Greek subsidiary of German discount operator Lidl, announced plans to invest EUR100mn (US$130.9mn) in the domestic market in the next three years. While the move comes amid challenging market conditions in the country, the company will invest the money to expand and renovate its existing stores and warehouses.
Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (CCHBC) Profits Continuing to Slide; Company Switches Listing To London: In the first nine months of 2012, CCHBC posted a 12% y-o-y decline in earnings before tax and interest to EUR412mn (US$523.44mn), despite a 3% y-o-y increase in sales revenue, although sales volumes fell by 1%. The company switched its listing from the Athens stock exchange to the London Stock Exchange in October 2012, which was made in expectation that it would enter the premium FTSE 100 index. At the same time, the company announced that it would also move its headquarters to Switzerland, officially to reflect the international nature of its business.
Key Risks To Outlook
Eurozone Exit Risks Remain In Play: The risks to our forecasts remain tilted to the downside. The uncertainty surrounding Greece's membership of the eurozone has still not been cleared up. Until this has been resolved, periodic speculation about Greece potentially leaving the bloc will cripple investor and consumer spending, as well as drive down asset prices. We still believe that the case for Greece leaving the eurozone is not clear-cut, particularly given that, following five years of depression, Athens has still managed to hold on to its membership. In addition, we believe that the other member states would be unwilling to allow Greece to slip into political and economic isolation given its crucial geostrategic location in a part of the world that has had a very turbulent history. Obviously, should Greece eventually find itself abruptly leaving the single currency area, the loss of financial support from the European Central Bank and the exodus of capital to perceived safe havens would precipitate a financial and economic collapse that would negate our medium- and long-term growth forecasts.
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